Food Safety and Hygiene

Food Safety is used in relation to recognising the hazards associated with food and drink, then managing the risks to ensure that food and drinks are protected from contamination.

Food Hygiene relates to the way in which food and drink is handled, prepared, stored and served to prevent it from causing illness. (Food hygiene can be compromised too by poor hygiene, with regards to utensils used and handler’s personal hygiene).

Why Food Safety, Including Hygiene is Important when Preparing and Handling Food

Constantly working to high food standards food hygiene is a requirement in health and social care settings. We are working with vulnerable people, sometimes who are also very ill. We must not compromise any individual’s health and safety by exposing them to avoidable food related illnesses such as food poisoning. We must take care that the people we provide care and support for do not become dehydrated and/or malnourished.

It is vital to ensure that we follow the correct risk assessment and management procedures in relation to people who are at risk of choking and those who have a specific diet or food prepared in a particular way due to a health need. The risk of choking is a serious one and is life threatening. Where there is a risk of choking it should it should be a qualified speech and language therapist or physiotherapist who conducts the risk assessment and recommends the courses of action required to minimise the risks.

The Main Law related to Food Safety and Standards

The Food Standards Agency has information and advice available on its website: www.food.gov.uk it regulates standards and ensures that the law is enforced. The main law related to food safety and standards is The Food Safety Act of 1990, it has been amended and backed up by regulations since it came into force. It applies to England, Scotland and Wales but Scotland has since passed it own legislation.

Use to answer question 8.1a of the Care Certificate


You must wash your hands immediately:

  • Before you start work
  • After handling vegetables and or raw meats
  • After handling rubbish
  • After handling cleaning materials
  • After eating and or smoking
  • After using a tissue
  • After a visit to the toilet
  • Any cut on the hand or arm must be covered with an approved visible dressing.
  • Head coverings and work wear/uniforms, where provided, must be worn at all times.
  • No jewellery should be worn, other than a plain wedding band and one pair of plain stud earrings.
  • You should not wear excessive amounts of make-up or perfume and nail polish must not be worn.
  • Finger nails must be kept short and clean, false nails and or nail attachments are not permitted.
  • If you are suffering from an infectious or contagious disease or illness, or have a bowel disorder, boils, skin or mouth infection, you must not report for work without clearance from your own doctor and a Return to Work interview with a line manager.
  • Contact with any person suffering from an infectious or contagious disease must be reported and you must have clearance from your own doctor before commencing work.
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